Movement & Character: Elizabeth Andres

As part of my internship with APRN, I’ve been exploring new methods of storytelling. This audio slideshow is a profile on UAA student Elizabeth Andres, whose area of study is Natural Sciences. Andres also teaches dance classes at Anchorage Music and Dance Center.

“My name is Elizabeth Andres and I am a dance teacher at Anchorage Music and Dance, where I teach ballet, tap, and jazz.

When I was about four years old, my mom put me in dance. My sister and I started dancing in the hometown studio in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. And I kept dancing.

What I love about teaching now is I really have a lot of freedom to create my own dance curriculum, and I also have a lot of interesting opportunities to create dances for all different levels. I choreograph for my kindergarten ballet class, and they are just three, four, and five-year-olds who are just getting started on their dance journey. And then I also choreograph for some of the older girls as well.

I really try to instill in my students, and I had it really taught to me, was that dance should be a way of giving you a positive body image. You don’t always hear that associated with dance, in fact a lot of times you hear the opposite, but I think there are a lot of great teachers out there that have really shown that when you dance, you’re learning more about your body and you’re learning to appreciate your body more. I think that’s a really important lesson.

For me, dance in my life has been so important. It’s really been something where if I hadn’t danced, if I hadn’t had that experience of being pushed and challenged and really seeing the reward for my hard work, I think that I might not be as driven as I am today. I don’t think that I would really appreciate what goes into becoming good at something, if I hadn’t had that experience early in life.”